Lake District brewer Hawkshead grew sales by 9% in the last year and profits before tax by 50%. The financial year 2015/16 saw sales of £2.4 million and an EBITDA of £300,000 with the brewery reaching full capacity.
Alex Brodie, who founded Hawkshead in 2002 said: “This is a good result for a small brewer. We managed to wring out a bit more volume from a plant that was fundamentally at capacity.”
Since year end, Hawkshead has further invested in its brewery at Staveley in Cumbria, to increase fermentation capacity to grow production by 40%, from 10,000 Hectolitres per year to 14,000 Hectolitres, and to double profits, by 2018.
“This 2 year plan, which is already ahead of budget after 2 months, is designed to hold us in continuing growth, while we work out how the business should develop in the long term,” said Brodie.
He said Hawkshead was now looking to add commercial skills and explore investment possibilities, to grow.
“British beer is booming. It is the best it has been in my lifetime,” said Brodie, who described himself as being of the generation who lived through “the dark years of scarcity, bland beer and disappointment.”
“Hawkshead has always been about highly flavourful beer, and making what we want to drink. The cat is now out of the bag. The taste buds of the beer drinking public have been awoken and we have done well out of that,” said Brodie.
Hawkshead, which sells largely to small independents, has carved out a strong niche position, selling well in both the traditional and the new wave craft markets.